A skeletal woman covered in blood; her hair, skin and dress all drenched bright red. Her eyes are fixed open, everything about her is taut and mean. Did I mention the blood?
Ever since I was seven years old, that image of Sissy Spacek on prom night has scared me.
Which is probably why I was so irritated to come across giant bills for the new Carrie in my neighborhood. The photo below shows roughly one third of the full display. Not as scary as the 1976 posters, if you ask me, but larger, I suspect.
These images are taller than a kindergartner and positioned at eye level for people in strollers.
I don’t mean to go all Tipper Gore/PMRC circa 1985 suggesting censorship or anything. Or do I? I don’t know. It’s confusing.
I walk in my neighborhood nearly every day and every day I see families with young children commuting on foot.
I haven’t researched how pre-schoolers process visual images. Maybe I’m wrong in worrying that a four-year-old might find these larger-than-life faces disturbing. Looks kind of more like chocolate than blood, right? And so what if they are disturbed; it’s a horrible world, right? Why coddle?
What do you think? I’m interested in opinions here. And since I asked, I’ll be more forthright about mine. I’ll stop the mild sarcasm and take a risk.
Whoever made the decision to place these ads on Santa Monica Boulevard in West LA ought to be ashamed of themselves. Where do you live? What’s at eye level of your toddlers’ strollers? Shrubbery? Rose bushes? Am I stereotyping? Would you hang these posters where your children might pass?
Someone might say: Just go down a different street.
And I would dare to stereotype again–some parent or grandparent has worked two jobs, had a long bus commute, just needs to carry the groceries home whilst pushing a stroller. That extra quarter mile to avoid your poster is nothing but an insult.
I’m open to the idea that my classist characterization of the situation is more offensive than the giant bills themselves. I’m sure that if I spent more time, I could craft a better argument, one without stereotypes. In fact, I could even stand at the corner and interview my neighbors–ask questions. What do your children say about these posters? I might ask.
Perhaps it’s a moot point with young Linda Blair in demon makeup on the TV screen every twenty minutes this time of year. But not every home runs the television all the time.
So I ask, am I overreacting?